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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 01-15-06, 09:18 PM   #1
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There are many threads on Bikeforums under the title of “Show us your…” which is always followed by something like “…cyclocross bike” or “…racing pix”. I figured that we could add a little more interesting content with this thread. In it, you tell about the latest adventures on your cyclocross bike, whether you just did a muddy race on it or rode it to work during a busy rush hour. Given that a broader range of cyclists are using ‘cross bikes for a diverse range of riding purposes, this ongoing thread could also answer many questions people have in regards to why people buy cyclocross bikes and how they use them.

Here’s my latest ‘cross adventure:

Today after a busy afternoon running errands with my wife on a blustery Washington DC day with freezing temperatures and biting wind gusts in excess of 25mph, I found myself with about 20 minutes to ride before the sun went down. I could’ve just shelved the riding idea for another day, but I was eager to try out my new Ritchey Speedmax Pro tires (700x30cc), which just replaced my Hutchinsons the night before. After getting a quick warm up spin on the twisty back roads of Georgetown, I took them off-road, first through the squishy grass and icy mud of Rose Park, down a steep grassy hillside by the Rock Creek Park trail, them onto the hard-packed dirt of the C&O canal. I managed to squeeze in a good amount of technical riding in the downtown Georgetown area as the sun set on a bitterly cold day, and I can tell that I am going to like these new tires a whole lot. The only downside was riding through a patch of decaying foliage, which has left my bike with a nice pungent scent of mulch.
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Old 01-16-06, 12:21 AM   #2
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Sounds like it could be a good thread. Here's todays ride on my cyclocross bike (specialized tricross).

It was a beautiful today in southern California. Cooler than normal with clear skies. Everything looked cleaner than normal after a little rain yesterday. I cruised out of my garage and over the the Aliso Creek trail, which is paved. I took the trail about 12 miles to Aliso and Wood Canyons park. I rode down the paved road in the park until it ended with a couple of short detours on dirt trails. Then when I got back to the Wood Canyon trail (hard packed dirt) I rode that trail to the end and back out to the paved road and the park entrance. Then it was back up the Aliso Creek trail and home. Great day for a ride.

I've had the 'cross bike for about a month and am really enjoying it. Last Saturday I did another ride that was part dirt and pavement. For those familiar with the area I rode through Whiting Ranch park, north through Santiago Canyon and then took Black Star Canyon up to Main Divide in the Cleveland Forest.
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Old 01-16-06, 12:24 AM   #3
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Today dawned clear after a couple of weeks of intermittent rain. Saturday we had 1/2" of rain so it was nice to have a clear sky.

A small group met at a restaurant on the Carquinez Straits which is the edge of the Sacramento Delta. The road has along the straits has fallen into pretty bad repair since it was closed to traffic after the 100th time there was a landslide that knocked off a chunk of road. Now it's used by hikers and bikers.

Everyone else was riding their streetbikes while I had my cross bike with knobbies on it. It was a little over 45 degrees so it wasn't too cold and it was actually pretty comfortable stopped and standing in the sun.

The Scenic Dr. had about 4 or 5 landslides that covered sections of the road but someone had cleared a walking path through the mud. In one section I followed a hiker and I tried to stay pretty far back but he was pretty slow and it's hard to ride slower than about 6 mph where you have to say in a path that's only 6" wide. I think I irritated him but what the heck.

We hit Martinez and then rode up the road past John Muir's home and cut up Franklin Canyon. That's paved all the way and the rabbits took off. I didn't warn them that the road was a lot steeper than it looked. It looks flat so you tend to ride real hard when you look down and see you're only going 9 or 10 mph.

I just cruised up the road until I could see the front guys slowing up and I slowly overhauled them. We waited for the rest of the group. I told everyone that the next climb looked a lot steeper than it really was but no one listens to that sort of thing. So they passed me up again at the start, went too hard and then slowed up. About 1/2 way up I caught up and kept picking the pace up until we were rolling in the big ring. Again we waited on the top and I explained the route down so that everyone could ride it well.

I hit 32 mph for most of the steep part of the downhill but at the bottom it flattened out and I was sort or surprised that the road bikes hadn't passed me.

Afterwards the clam chowder and salad went down comfortably. With all the rain I only have about 200 miles in so far this mouth.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:41 PM   #4
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Today was a 2.5 hour slog of LSD with nokians on an iced and snow-packed MUT. Gotta love winter (and I'm in Sweden!). It's been non-stop snow for about a week. I'm seriously thinking about swapping my wheels for some xc skis -- but I gotta get the miles in!
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